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Katha Pollitt on Political Poetry

katha_pollitt.jpgAfter 27 years, Katha Pollitt will finally follow-up her debut collection poetry with a new new book of poems, “The Mind-Body Problem.”

Pollitt won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 1982 with her “Antarctic Traveller” book, but it took the author nearly three decades to finish this new collection. At Granta, critic Adam Gopnik interviewed Pollitt about writing and publishing in this new century.

Here’s an excerpt about political poetry in the age of Barack Obama: “There is not a lot of explicitly political poetry that I love. Berthold Brecht would be an exception … Adrienne Rich has written political poems that are original and profound, and others that seem to me not so interesting as writing. Mostly, I think that if you can say it in an article, or a leaflet, or a letter, or an email, then do so! It’s not going to make much of a poem.”

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